Ban gas-fired leaf blowers and limit noise levels of other gardening tools
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Leaf blowers generate high frequency noise and air pollution that impair the quality of life in Belmont and the health of its citizens.
The air pollution from gas-fired leaf blowers is most severe and therefore the focus of this petition is to ban them. There are many alternatives, such as electric leaf blowers and leaf vacuums, as well as manual tools. In addition, this petition requests to put noise level maximums in place for all other powered garden equipment.
The two-cylinder engines that drive gas-fired leaf blowers are not regulated, and, as a result, the engines are crude, cheap, and inefficient. A single leaf blower releases as much air pollution as 500 cars! Two-cycle gas motorcycles and other vehicles have been banned from our roads for decades. Why make an exception for leaf blowers?
The air and noise pollution from leaf blowers is particularly harmful for children, pregnant women, and the elderly.
The high speed air blasted from a leaf blower destroys topsoil by desiccating roots, removing mulch, and killing vital soil-dwelling organisms. At the same time, clouds of dirt and dust that contain mold and fungal spores, pollen, animal feces, and molecules of chemical herbicides and fertilizers are propelled into the air. Particulate matter (PM) can take hours and even days to settle. Particulates and unfiltered emissions are dangerous to breathe and are associated with respiratory and other ailments.
There are currently successful bans on leaf blowers in more than 21 cities in California. With your help I believe that Belmont will soon be among those health and environmental leaders.
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